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Health Insurance Exchanges: See How They Run

Monday, May 11, 2009

Various proposals to expand coverage to uninsured Americans and reform the health insurance market include the establishment of a health insurance exchange. The most widely discussed example of such an exchange is in Massachusetts, and it arrived recently with Massachusetts’ 2007 health reform efforts. Many are looking to the Connector, as the Massachusetts program is known, to inform their discussions of a national insurance exchange. But is that the only model?

What is actually meant by a health insurance exchange and how might it work? Would it look more like a “farmer’s market”, or would it be more heavily regulated? Who would be allowed to seek coverage through the exchange, and what might be the rules governing the conduct of plans offering the coverage? What’s in it for the consumer? How would vulnerable populations be protected? Are other reforms needed to make it work? Is there potential for cost containment with an insurance exchange model? Who stands to benefit?

An expert panel addressed these and other questions. Panelists were: Nancy Turnbull, Harvard University; Richard Curtis, Institute for Health Policy Solutions; and Linda Blumberg, Urban Institute. Ed Howard of the Alliance and Cathy Schoen of Commonwealth moderated.


 Ed Howard, Alliance for Health Reform, Moderator
 Cathy Schoen, The Commonwealth Fund, Moderator
 Linda Blumberg, The Urban Institute, Speaker
 Richard Curtis, Institute for Health Policy Solutions, Speaker
 Nancy Turnbull, Harvard University, Speaker
(Click on the camera icon to see a video of the speaker's presentation.)

Transcript, Event Summary and/or Webcast and Podcast

Transcript: Health Insurance Exchanges: See How They Run (Adobe Acrobat PDF), 5/11/2009
Event Summary: Health Insurance Exchanges: See How They Run (Adobe Acrobat PDF), 5/11/2009
Full Webcast/Podcast: Health Insurance Exchanges: See How They Run

The full webcast and podcast for this briefing, as well as videos of individual speakers' presentations, are provided by Kaiser Family Foundation.

Speaker Presentations

Cathy Schoen Presentation (PowerPoint), 5/11/2009
Linda Blumberg Presentation (PowerPoint), 5/11/2009
Rick Curtis Presentation (PowerPoint), 5/11/2009
Nancy Turnbull Presentation (PowerPoint), 5/11/2009

(If you want to download one or more slides from these presentations, contact us at info@allhealth or click here for instructions.)

Source Materials

Agenda (Word Document), , 5/11/2009
Speaker Biographies (Word Document), , 5/11/2009
Selected Experts (Word Document), , 5/11/2009
What Health Insurance Exchanges or Choice Pools Can and Can't Do About Risks and Costs (Adobe Acrobat PDF), Institute for Health Policy Solutions, 5/1/2009
Health Insurance Exchanges: See How They Run (Adobe Acrobat PDF), , 5/11/2009

Offsite Materials (briefing documents saved on other websites)

Rules of the Road: How an insurance exchange can pool risk and protect enrollees (Adobe Acrobat PDF),Center on Budget and Policy Priorities, 3/31/2009
Health Insurance Exchange: Organizing Health Insurance Marketplaces... (Adobe Acrobat PDF),Urban Institute, 4/1/2009
State Insurance Marts: A Place to Shop, Compare, and Enroll (Adobe Acrobat PDF),BlueCross BlueShield Association, 1/8/2009
Government-Sponsored Health Insurance Purchasing Arrangements: Do They Reduce Cost or Expand..., Oliver Wyman Actuarial Consulting , 6/15/2008
Bill Vaughan Testimony Before the House Committee on Ways and Means, House Committee on Ways and means, 4/22/2009
Final Report: Health Insurance Exchange Study (Adobe Acrobat PDF),Mathematica Policy Research, Inc., 3/27/2008
Employers Reject the Health Insurance Exchange (Adobe Acrobat PDF),TRL Consulting, 2/1/2008
Overview of Purchasing Pools Policy Options, RAND Compare, 4/1/2009
State Health Reform: How to Fund a Statewide Health Insurance Exchange (Adobe Acrobat PDF),The Heritage Foundation, 7/30/2007
Massachusetts Health Reform: Solving the Long-Run Cost Problem, Robert Wood Johnson Foundation / Urban Institute, 1/15/2009
Executive Summary: The Path to A High Performance Health System, The Commonwealth Fund, 2/19/2009
Report from Massachusetts: Employers Largely Support Health Care Reform..., Health Affairs, 7/14/2007
Affording Shared Responsibility for Universal Coverage: Insights From California, Health Affairs, 3/24/2009
Designing Health Insurance Market Constructs For Shared Responsibility: Insights From CA, Health Affairs, 3/24/2009


Cathy Schoen, senior vice president of The Commonwealth Fund, explored the potential for a national health insurance exchange at the May 11 briefing cosponsored by The Fund. (5 min.) Rick Curtis, president of the Institute for Health Policy Solutions, listens.

Linda Blumberg of the Urban Institute described the roles of health insurance exchanges, or connectors, in health reform at the May 11 briefing cosponsored by The Commonwealth Fund. (12 min.)

Rick Curtis, president of the Institute for Health Policy Solutions, discussed the importance of risk adjustment at the May 11 briefing on health insurance exchanges, or connectors. (11 min.) Cosponsored by The Commonwealth Fund.

Nancy Turnbull of Harvard University discussed lessons learned from the Massachusetts Health Insurance Connector at the May 11 briefing on connectors cosponsored by The Commonwealth Fund. (13 min.)


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